What are the different stages of production for toys and model kits?
- Assembly and Finished Product
When it comes to products manufactured from the plastic injection molding, one that has been produced the most are toys and model kits. These plastic products are not only one of the most abundant, but they are also a part of one of the most profitable industries in the world. Despite the increasing presence and prominence of digital media in today’s age, toys and model kits have remained in high demand amongst kids and adults alike.
Being products that are mass-produced on a regular basis, the process of producing toys and model kits have been refined over the years, with some of the latest in plastic injection molding technology used in creating products of the highest quality. While there are times that these products are simply taken for what they are after being produced, it is worth taking a look on how these toys and model kits are made and see how the process shapes up the final product.
The first step when creating a toy or a model kit is drafting up the design that would eventually become the final product. The toy designing process can be lengthy and challenging, as a team of engineers, designers, artists, and model makers must work together in order to create a design that can be mass-produced. For toys, this means creating a functional design that will accommodate features or details. Model kits, on the other hand, are designed with the goal of being assembled in mind, which means a good amount of engineering needs to be involved in order to make it all work.
While the traditional method of creating design concepts and blueprints is done by hand, today’s generation of artists and designers have employed the use of various design software that provides functions such as 3D modeling and rendering, making the process of creating the mold much easier.
Once the design has been finalized, the next step is to bring that design to life by creating a mold for it. The plastic injection mold is created using automated software that shapes the design into the mold through milling and spark erosion methods. Once the mold design has finished, they can now be used for molding plastic parts and be installed into the plastic injection molding machine. These molds are designed to be used multiple times, which is the case for most toy and model kit products, as they are usually produced in large numbers over a long period of time.
Once the mold has been set, it is time for the production process to begin. Molten plastic will be injected, and as the injection rotates, the plastic would slowly be injected into the plastic injection mold. Once the molten plastic has been solidified, it can now be removed from the mold, and the process starts all over again. This quick process allows companies to mass-produce toys and model kits by the thousands, while still retaining the same level of quality after every mold.
Depending on the size and how complicated a toy or model kit is, some of these products require multiple molds that would have to be assembled after. For model kits, multiple sprues must be produced in order to have enough parts to be assembled. Multi-color injection molding is also a popular practice used in the industry, as these plastic injection molds allow for the production of parts and products that utilize different colors.
Assembly and Finished Product
Once the necessary parts have been molded, the next step is to assemble and package them. Some parts will be connected together by either screws or other adhesives such as glue and cement in order to create the final product. Some parts will also be colored with paint or attached with stickers. For model kits, the process instantly moves into packaging, as these plastic injection molded products would be assembled by the modelers themselves. Once these steps have been accomplished, they can now be distributed and sold to retailers.
The toy and model kit industry that has been able to generate millions of dollars in revenue on a regular basis and one advantage that helps them generate these huge profits is their efficient production methods. Knowing how these toys and model kits are made using plastic injection molding will allow you to see how well-produced these products are, and how each stage of the production process is set with a focus on providing products of the highest quality.